Message ľ 18 May 2007
The uncivilized racket that occurred yesterday before the door of the Cathedral, opened to allow the faithful access to pray in front of the venerable image of the Madonna of San Luca, will remain as a stain that cannot be wiped away in the luminous history and moving nature of the love of Bologna for her Patroness. Yesterday, the city was offended. It was offended in its profound religious sentiment which always knows how to set aside political divisions and social inequality in front of the image of the Blessed Virgin, rebuilding the human consortium in the most profound unity of love by praying to Mary. It was also offended in its civil tradition that has always seen its greatest identifying standard in the Madonna of San Luca; a tradition, unbroken for 531 years, of bringing down the Venerable Image from the Colle della Guardia. It was offended in its virtuous and permanent practice of tolerance and civil order. And it was so grave that such an uncivilized protest, in which were exhibited written things which bordered on blasphemy, had, in addition to the protagonists, two deputies from the national Parliament and other local political representatives. As the bishop of this city, I consider it an obligation to denounce similar episodes which are an evident sign of a civil degrade whose beginning is unknown. I also call upon the authorities, under whose jurisdiction those gifts of common life are made respectful which the city and the nation are given for the common good. I invite the faithful and all people, among whose most precious affections are for the Madonna of San Luca, to pray because the Lord comforts those who, whether ecclesiastical authority or simple faithful, were the object of derision and offense yesterday. Pray that each offender allow himself to encounter His pardon, on the way of conversion of heart, for maybe he has acted without knowing what he has done.
+ Carlo Cardinal Caffarra
Metropolitan Archbishop of Bologna
La traduzione, non rivista dal Card. Caffarra, Ŕ di Ryan Hilderbrand.